Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Happy weekend, and happy FALL! I have had a rollercoaster start to the new season, getting diagnosed with SHINGLES yesterday after a few days of burning, tingling pain and then waking up yesterday with the telltale rash. I’ve never had shingles before and didn’t know much about it, but when the pain started last Sunday, I immediately thought it might be shingles, because this is one of those things where the physical sensation truly feels like the word sounds. Shingles! I mean, doesn’t that just make you think of tingly, burning, pins-and-needles pain? So, when I got the rash yesterday — which is on my butt, you guys, though the pain is more extensive — I made an appointment with a doctor to confirm and get on meds right away because I knew enough to know you want to attack it quickly before it spreads and gets worse.

My own doctor was booked so I got a new-to-me doctor, and as soon as she walked into the room, she was like, “Oh, you’re a mom from school!” And then I was like, “Oh! That’s why you look familiar! Wanna see a rash on my butt?” And then I pulled down my pants and she confirmed it was Shingles and said she was impressed I’d diagnosed myself so quickly and should pay myself the co-pay (which, actually, sounds like a great idea, right? Like, if patients can correctly self-diagnose their ailments, their co-pays should be waived. It could get people to the doctor who may otherwise suffer without necessary medications, and it would save doctors from wasting time looking up various symptoms on Google). I’d suggest the idea to Congress — since they’re so proactive with healthcare — but it seems they have other things on their plate at the moment.

Anyway, after I got my diagnosis confirmed, I rushed home to quickly freshen up, give the kids some shingles hugs (don’t worry – they’ve had chicken pox vaccinations!), and head out with Drew to see Paul Simon, whose finale tour wraps up tonight. I’ve seen him twice before and both shows were fantastic, and last night was maybe even more so. He and his band played and played and played — for about three hours with no break — and it all sounded so great and nostalgic and perfect. In our taxi ride home, NYC was twinkly and magical and showing off, and it was the best night, despite the shingles.

This morning, just at the break of dawn, my mother called. I saw the name on my caller Id and immediately knew why she was calling. My dear, sweet, beloved grandmother — the last of my living grandparents — has passed away, several weeks after being moved to nursing home hospice care. I have more to say about her, but for now I am thinking of the birthday card she sent me a couple weeks ago, her very last correspondence to me. She was so weak at that point, she could only write one word herself: “Love.” My aunt finished the message: “Love Grandma Always.”

I always have and I always will. Rest in Peace, Grandma Betty. I’m going to miss you so much.

16 comments… add one
  • JD September 22, 2018, 7:16 am

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this Wendy. Also, seeing as we all must sit, I can only imagine the extra pain it causes. Sending your good thoughts for feeling better.

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  • MissD September 22, 2018, 8:05 am

    I’m really sorry about your grandmother, Wendy. My grandma is also failing and it’s a scary feeling.

    My dad had shingles this summer. It looked awful and he was in a lot of radiating pain for several weeks, even though he was diagnosed and received treatment within like 36 hours. I really really hope you aren’t in pain for weeks on end.

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      Dear Wendy September 22, 2018, 8:34 am

      Thanks, D – I appreciate it.

      The Shingles pain is definitely unpleasant, but compared to other physical pain I’ve experienced – unmedicated childbirth, kidney infections, kidney stones – it’s totally manageable. As long as it doesn’t get worse and doesn’t take long to clear up, I’ll be ok.

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  • keyblade September 22, 2018, 10:28 am

    I’m sorry for your loss, Wendy. That picture is beautiful.

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  • anonymousse September 22, 2018, 11:07 am

    So sorry for your loss, Wendy.
    I really hope the shingles goes away quickly for you!

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  • Miss MJ September 22, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss, Wendy. And that you have shingles.

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  • Ange September 22, 2018, 7:22 pm

    I’m sorry for the loss of your grandma, sending healing for your family. Well, and your shingles, not to sound too flippant.

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  • ktfran September 23, 2018, 7:55 am

    Wendy, I’m terribly sorry to hear your grandma passed away. Sending good thoughts to you and you family.

    I’m always sorry to hear about the shingles. That sucks. I’m wishing you a swift recovery.

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    Dear Wendy September 23, 2018, 9:27 am

    Thanks, you guys — I really appreciate the kind words and thoughts.

    The shingles has gotten lots worse, by the way. I should have held my tongue when I was chirping about it being no big deal. I’m miserable!

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    • Kate September 23, 2018, 9:32 am

      Yikes! Sorry about all this.

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    • MissD September 23, 2018, 9:41 am

      Did your doctor give you pain meds?

      My dad was given pain meds in addition to his treatment and was told to basically just rest for the first week.

      I think it took him like 4-5 weeks to completely heal, but he was feeling much better after 10 days.

      Hang in there, Wendy! XoXo!

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        Dear Wendy September 23, 2018, 11:20 am

        She didn’t give me pain Meds I think bc I didn’t look to be in much pain. And, admittedly, I walked two miles to her office and then went out to a concert that night til late, so I was clearly not in debilitating pain or anything – just mild pain and discomfort. I’m honestly shocked it progressed so quickly and I’m laid up in bed now. I guess I didn’t take it seriously enough (and didn’t know I should) and pushed myself too hard. The emotional stress of losing my grandmother and not knowing if I can even travel to Missouri for the funeral doesn’t help.

        On the upside, I’ve had lots of tome to lie in bed watching tv and reading…

    • JD September 24, 2018, 6:26 am

      @Wendy woke up and logged in and was thinking of you, hoping that you got some rest and perhaps a little less pain. If your stuck in bed and Netflixing (and haven’t seen it yet) Bloodline is awesome. Just thought I’d send a recommendation to keep you busy. Minded mystery might just be a good distraction 🙂

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  • redhead September 23, 2018, 7:11 pm

    My husband had shingles and it was terrible; probably about a month to mostly recovered, 6 months to full (the rash completely gone, etc). I’ve heard L Lysine has helped some people shorten their shingles, he didn’t find about it in time to try it. I had no luck with any topical treatments for him (they all burned and just made it worse), and he did need strong pain meds for about 3-4 days. I’d advise going back into the clinic or calling on Monday for pain meds.

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      Dear Wendy September 24, 2018, 5:39 am

      I did tons of research over the weekend and read about L-lysine and ordered some from amazon and it should be here tomorrow. Topical creams I’ve been trying all burn. I think I am ok without Rx painkillers. They always make me nauseous so I avoid them unless I absolutely need them.

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    Moneypenny September 23, 2018, 9:43 pm

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother, Wendy! 🙁
    And also your shingles. I hope it’s a quick recovery.

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